When Aaron is just about to plan his Christmas holiday with his girlfriend, an overzealous client begs for his help. James is an erratic pop star eager to get rid of a bad memory before he can think about moving on. He refuses to let a man he thought was close to con him. Aaron finds that there is a strong connection developing between him and James. The feeling is forbidden to him, but he continues to wonder if James is aware of it.
Aaron stood in front of his long mirror and admired his tall, muscular physique. Ninety days of a strict exercise routine had paid off. He was wearing his ash-gray formal trousers and nothing on top. His upper body bulked up with smooth muscle. A torso that once had a slightly bulging stomach now had toned abs. The delight of seeing his body in shape fed a massive ego. He threw on a tight white shirt, crisp and ironed—the perfect fit. The thought of doing more shopping for designer brands entered his mind. It was a growing obsession and he feared he’d max out his credit cards because of it.
He fastened a black tie around the collar, then sprayed a light cloud of cologne and finally put on his gold watch. Scarlett was still sound asleep on the queen-sized bed at the center of the bedroom, her beautiful face buried in the mass of blonde hair flowing down her back. They had been dating for a few weeks, and it was a magical relationship. She was a wild one, always demanding that they try all kinds of kinky positions Aaron hadn’t tried while he wasted time being self-conscious about his body. He would have never imagined keeping the prettiest girl he had ever pursued.
After combing his short, golden brown, wavy hair, he grabbed a small leather bag and rushed outside. The day was sunny enough for him not to fuss about leaving his suit jacket. He reversed his black Jaguar out of the garage. His house nestled in a quiet neighborhood that was beginning to get a bit noisy from parties as the Christmas holiday season began. The fifteen-minute drive to work could have been shorter if it wasn’t for the heavy traffic. Aaron learned to be patient, scrolling through his phone and playing soothing ballads on the mp3. Once he broke free from the highway, he increased the speed to reach the tall Wallace and Company law firm office building lodged in between several others at the edge of New York city. He’d always rush past the throngs of people who held conversations in groups near the reception area. Victoria was the center of the frenzy, where she could chat up just about anyone. He waved at her before rushing into the elevator.
Nick Wallace, his boss, had called him in for a final job before closing until the New Year.
Once he was in the comfort of his office space, he continued playing classical orchestra music on his laptop. It helped him concentrate and get more work done within the hour. The phone next to his personal computer rang twice before he picked up.
“Someone to see you, Aaron,” Victoria said.
“Let them in.”
A young man, roughly five foot nine, wearing a loose, printed vest and torn jeans strode into the office. Aaron noticed the man’s deep-set brown eyes and a squarish face with a solid jaw covered in stubble. He extended his hand over the wide desk, prompting Aaron to stand and reach out to shake his hand. Such blunt informality. Who is he?
He spoke in a deep, commanding voice. “Good morning. I’m James Lewis, in desperate need of your help.”
“I’m not supposed to be taking any clients at this time of the year.”
“Please, I’m in a jam here. I’ll pay you in advance if I have to. I heard you were the best.”
“Fine. So what’s the problem?”
“My accountant ran off with a huge sum of my money.”
Aaron’s eyebrows furrowed as he contemplated what he was hearing. “How does that happen?”
“The worst-case scenario. I made the mistake of becoming too close with him. Our friendship became an intimate one. I guess he felt entitled. It’s a lot of money I made mostly from live performances.”
“When did you discover that he was stealing from you?”
“Two weeks ago, I couldn’t get through to him. We weren’t on good terms, but he still worked for me. When I realized he deliberately cut all communication, my producer told me he left the country.”
Aaron sighed. “That does sound like a jam. It’s very difficult to contend with someone who doesn’t want to be found.”
James raked his hair. “I’m so stupid. That evil son of a bitch probably planned this way before we hooked up.”
“Do you always sleep with your employees, Mr. Lewis?”
“No. Reagan is just really handsome. I can’t deny being totally wrapped around his finger.”
Aaron had stumbled over an enigmatic man. James came off as the carefree type who let things happen.
“Look, what happened to you is quite common…the part where money is stolen. If you’re positive of what you’re saying, we can start by launching a full-scale investigation.”
“Please, I need that money back. I don’t know what made him think he’d get away with it. I may be reckless, but I’m not dumb.”
“Let’s hope he was using his true identity, but I doubt it. Forward all the information you get about him. What else can you tell me?”